If you’re an associate of AmLaw 100 firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, and you haven’t checked your email because you were busy figuring out whether to spend your big 2009 salary increase on a solid gold car bra for your BMW M6 Convertible or on that Lladro figurine that will complete your collection, you’d better read this:
Each of you is aware of what is going on in the world economy in general, and in the legal market in particular. The Executive Committee and our Firm’s senior managerial and financial officers, Bob Zuber and Kevin Combs, have been working hard over the past several months to ensure Sheppard Mullin’s continued financial strength through the current economic downturn. We feel it is critical to rigorously control expenses during these times. As part of our management of expenses, we have decided to “freeze” Associate compensation for 2009. This means your base compensation will be the same as in 2008. Special Counsel and Senior Attorney compensation will also be frozen, with minor exceptions.
We trust you understand this decision is a reflection of the market and not how we value any of you. We are very proud of our attorneys and the superior service, quality and value you provide to our clients.
Bob Zuber and I will be making our annual State of the Firm presentations in each office at the end of January and beginning of February. As usual, we will have an open forum to address any questions you have. Should you have any questions in the meantime, please direct them to Robert Beall, Bob Neufeld, Bob Zuber or me.
Thank you for your hard work and many contributions in 2008 and best wishes to all of you for 2009.
-Guy [N. Halgren] and The Executive Committee
I’m not sure why “Guy” felt the “need” to place the “word” “freeze” in “quotes.” But I’m sure associates will “love” his “friendly” and “avuncular” “style” as they sell off their home gym equipment to “pay” “off” their student loans.